Tomorrow evening (September 30th), the Thirsty Monk is hosting the second annual Michael Jackson Tribute Toast. Jackson succumbed to Parkinson's Disease on August 30, 2007, and his legacy can be seen in places like the Thirsty Monk, which showcases many of the Belgian beers that Jackson introduced to beer lovers all over the world. It wasn't just Belgian beers that Jackson was so passionate about, it was all beer, and the way that beer and culture are so intertwined. From the lagers of Germany to the ales of England, Jackson recognized the importance of beer as being a part of the cultural history of the area in which they are brewed. It is not an exaggeration to say that Jackson is mostly responsible for the beer renaissance that has been occurring over the past 20 years. I highly recommend that you seek out some of his books or his television show, the Beer Hunter.
The festivities at the Thirsty Monk start at 6 p.m., and they will include Highland's first ever cask conditioned ale to be sold to the public. Highland is bringing a Kashmir IPA that has been dry hopped with Cascade hops. All the taps upstairs will be from the area, in following with Michael Jackson's preference for drinking beer that is locally made. At 7 p.m. will be the official toast by Asheville's resident beer scribe, Tony Kiss. Proceeds from the event will go to National Parkinson Foundation.